Low-Cost Strategies for Marketing Your Real Estate Business

Affordable Ways to Market Yourself as a Real Estate Agent

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas


You’re just starting out in real estate, which means that you have approximately $25 and whatever’s left in your couch cushions to put towards your marketing budget. That’s because you’ll need to bankroll your business from your own funds until you close that blessed first deal. When every single dollar counts and you can’t afford the pricey bench ads or radio spots, you need to rely on these low-cost marketing strategies to generate business.

In this guide, we’ll share the most popular ways to promote your real estate services for cheap. Let’s get started.

Create Your Own Website

Think your website isn’t part of your marketing strategy? Think again. Your website is your business card and listing catalog all rolled up into one. Your website can also help you generate new client leads from search engines such as Google. By using content marketing (i.e. using the content on your website to attract and educate prospective clients), you can successfully market your real estate business for cheap.

Your website doesn’t need to be fancy to be effective. You can create a website by yourself this weekend. All you need is a beginner-friendly website builder like Squarespace to get started. Choose a template and then populate it with the basics, such as:

  • Your bio and professional headshot
  • Your contact information (Share how to reach you via phone, email, and social media platforms.)
  • Your listings
  • A way to search the MLS (You'll need to be a member of an IDX service to add this. Here's a tutorial on how to add an MLS search to your Squarespace site, if you choose to build your website with this service.)
  • An invitation to your email list/ newsletter (Instead of simply asking people to sign up to your email list, offer something of value in return, such as a downloadable neighborhood guide.)

Invest in PPC Ads

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When you’re trying to make your marketing dollar stretch, set up a pay per click, or PPC, ad campaign. PPC ads provide a lot of bang for your buck.

As its name implies, you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. Unlike paying for exposure, you only pay when someone demonstrates an interest in your ad.

If you’d like to set up a PPC campaign, you have options on where to buy ads, including on search engines, social media platforms, and smartphone apps. By far, the most popular place to buy ads is on a search engine like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, with Google being the perennial favorite. With only about $10 a day, you can drive a huge amount of traffic to your website. However, $10 a day can add up if you don’t have a clear strategy.

To make the most out of a PPC campaign, do this:

  • Have a specific goal in mind (Do you want to grow your email list, get more inquiries in a listing, collect phone numbers for later callback?)
  • Target a specific long tail keyword (A keyword is a generic word that we use to search Google, i.e. real estate. A long tail keyword is a three-word or longer phrase that we use to search Google, i.e. Boston real estate for rent. Focusing on long tail keywords that are relevant to your real estate business will put your ad in front of a smaller group of people. You want to narrow the field so that you’re not wasting any ad dollars on people who have no intention of using your real estate service.)
  • Link to a specific page on your website (Ad campaigns must link to your website, but you don’t want to send prospective clients to your homepage where they’ll get lost. Instead, send them to an optimized page on your site that gives them the directions on what to do next. This ties back to your goal. If you want to collect callback numbers, link your ad to a page on your site that asks for the visitor’s first name and phone number.)
  • Keep an eye on your analytics. The beauty of a PPC campaign is that you can tweak or stop it whenever you get ready. If your ads aren’t working, reconsider your goal, change the keyword, or test other elements of your campaign until you get it right.

Get Active on Facebook

We can’t have a serious discussion on low-cost marketing strategies without touching on Facebook, the undisputed king of social media. Due to its popularity, Facebook is a no-brainer for marketing your business, but you can’t go in without a plan. That’s because, despite appearances, Facebook marketing isn’t free. Over the years, it’s become a pay to play platform for business marketing. If you don’t buy ads on Facebook, you won’t get seen by prospective customers unless they specifically search for you. The good news is that Facebook ads are cheap (you can get by with $5 a day) and flexible (you can start and stop campaigns whenever you want) and highly targeted (you can reach a specific group of people based on demographics or behavior).

But you don’t always have to spend money to generate leads on Facebook. One strategy is to create a group on Facebook that’s focused on local events in your area. This allows you to attract people who are interested in your area (because they either live there or want to live there) while setting yourself up as a neighborhood expert. Eventually, the people in your Facebook group will need your services or they’ll know someone who does!

Host a Workshop or Seminar

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Hosting a seminar or teaching a workshop is a great way to attract new business and establish yourself as an authority in your desired real estate niche. Target your prospective clients by offering an intensive discussion or training on a topic that they care about.

There’s a wide range of topics you can tackle in your workshop, from how to stage a house to house hunting advice for first-time buyers. The goal is to provide your attendees with a short but useful dose of education that ultimately leads them to need your services.

But you’ll get bonus points for turning workshops into another stream of revenue. That’s right. You can charge a small fee for your workshops and get paid to generate leads for your real estate business. Charging for your workshops also increases their perceived value, which means that your attendees will take them more seriously.

Invest in Client Appreciation

Hands down, the best form of marketing ever is referral marketing. However, referral marketing isn’t up to you— it’s up to your happy clients. You can’t force your previous clients to refer your services to others, but you can influence them.

By simply staying in touch with your previous clients, you’ll earn a spot at the top of their mind whenever someone they know needs help with buying or selling a house.

Here are a few ways to stay in touch with your previous clients:

  • Send out Christmas or anniversary greeting cards with a handwritten note
  • Send a cheap but memorable gift on the anniversary of purchasing or selling their home
  • Send out an email newsletter every month
  • Host a client appreciation party
  • Connect over Facebook or other social media platforms
  • Provide a comparable market analysis (CMA) report each year

Continue building your relationships, even after your sale. Your client may no longer need your service, but they likely know someone who does.

Additional Resources

Before you go, check out these related posts:

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